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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "The actual mileage has been posted many times, it's around 48 - 50 mpg. Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. If someone tells you less, something is wrong. You will get around 50mpg.. a bit less. "

    That's a pretty bold statement, without knowing the driving conditions. What if the owner is driving 5 miles at a time, and the engine is cooling off between drives (such as to and from work)?

    What about winter MPG? You don't mention that cold weather can SEVERELY impact mileage.

    What about "lead foot" drivers? People have to modify their driving habits to match the capabilities of the hybrid.

    What if the owner wants to keep up with traffic going 70 - 75 MPH on the freeways?

    Several of those situations could easily result in MPG less than the amount you claim.
  • oldcoacholdcoach Posts: 28
    I have a new Prius with about 1100 miles on it and I average 45 MPG. I get more than 45 but my wife get about 43 (heavy foot). I am sure it will get more when broken in.
  • oldcoacholdcoach Posts: 28 on Green and you can get the averages of each car, the prius averages 48 mpg :D
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    To stevedebi,
    re: Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. "

    OH really? Well a couple of posts back I did say just that and guess what; it is not only on a regular basis but for life time MPG. 17 months, that includes winter too.
    I never had a tank below 50 other than the first 3 at 49.7. Now I'm averaging 63.5 on the last 9 tanks since spring. So it is true! I agree with you on MPG related to the driving conditions as you describe but it is possible and actually fairly easy to do >50 if majority of your distance is not too short.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "To stevedebi,
    re: Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. " "

    I suggest you re-read my post, I was quoting someone else... which is why the first part was in "quotes".

    That person practically guaranteed MPG higher than 45. I agree that is it possible to get far better, but one has to be willing to make the effort of driving for hybrid MPG, rather than driving like a normal vehicle.

    IMHO, if someone drives a Prius like a regular car, they may well get 45 MPG, even worse in winter.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    I stand corrected - you were quoting scottc3, therefore my question is redirected to him. On the other hand I don't necessarily agree with your last statement: "IMHO, if someone drives a Prius like a regular car, they may well get 45 MPG, even worse in winter."
    I never ever had a tank even close being that low. My life time MPG is now 58.0 since April 2007 to now nearly 21K miles. This includes winter when I averaged 55.3 MPG. Perhaps if one drives many very short trips than you would get such low MPG. Good luck and enjoy your Prius no matter what it's an awesome car.
  • tothemaxx2tothemaxx2 Posts: 22
    We live in the SW Denver CO area. In the 2-1/2 months we've had ours we have put on 2,300 miles and average a consistent 50 to 51 mpg. Three others I work with who own Priuses (sp?) get 47; 51 to 53; and 50 mpg.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    tothemax: that's a great start... your MPG numbers should get even better as you break in the car and the "driver":). Most people report an improvement after 5K miles. Enjoy!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "I never ever had a tank even close being that low. My life time MPG is now 58.0 since April 2007 to now nearly 21K miles. This includes winter when I averaged 55.3 MPG. Perhaps if one drives many very short trips than you would get such low MPG. Good luck and enjoy your Prius no matter what it's an awesome car. "

    Thanks, but I own a Ford Escape Hybrid. I follow the forums to get tips on MPG, stay up on trends, etc.

    Let me tell you how most people drive here in LA. They jackrabbit start up to around 40 MPH, then accelerate towards the light, only to hit the brakes when they suddenly (doh!) discover it is still red. They drive 70-75 on the freeways (even those posted for 55 MPH).

    If a person drove a Prius like that, it would most likely get 45 MPG, in warm weather.
  • When I use any brand of gasoline with Ethanol in my 2008 Prius with 8000 miles, the mileage decreases to about 37 mpg. With non-Ethanol fuel I average between 48 to 52 mgg. Is anyone aware of any fuel that does not come from the Middle East that does not contain Ethanol?
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 109
    I wonder what is so special about how you drive? Every other Prius in the world gets 48-50mpg. As all cars are made the same, perhaps you can share with us your freeway speed, and around town speed. Do you consider yourself a 'normal' driver, doing up and down grades, accelerating 'normally' (slowly but not to hinder traffic).. or do you do something different. I'd like to get 58mpg also.. what is your secret?

  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    Hi Scottc3,

    I'm glad you're keeping an open mind. What you said about "Every other Prius in the world gets 48-50mpg" is not factual. Go to or for stats and great tips. The tips are from veteran Prius drivers that I learned from as I'm still a novice driver of the Prius.

    For starters what I found important:
    Even before you get in the car:
    1. Consider increasing your tire pressure from the Toyota setting of 35/33 to 40/38. Some people go to the maximum of 45/43 as on the sidewall of the OEM Integrity tires ... and there are those who even go higher. Research tire pressures on
    2.Make sure that when oil change is done your oil is not overfilled. Dealers keep doing this against the recommended level in their own service specs.
    3. As in real estate location ... location ... location ... route selection is very important. I've experienced with many variations of route selections to and from work. The goal is to have the least amount of fuel consumed which will result in your ideal MPG. For some time I was monitoring different routes and recording my MPG both to and from work and the corresponding conditions like tire pressure; temperature outside ... etc. As I learned different techniques I revisited some of the earlier routes to see what if any difference it makes. Important considerations are: number of lights / stops and how well you can time them and of course terrain. Take advantage of any downhill terrain by gliding. Watch your rate of acceleration and drive like you don't have breaks. Be aware of what's ahead and drive as smoothly as possible.
    4. Some people (I only do it on a very limited basis) get excellent MPG by P&G (pulse and glide).
    5. Limit short trips or combine them as much as possible - these are killers for MPG because of the low warm-up numbers. Your warm up period in the winter is longer. If you going to have multiple stops plan them: consider going to the furthest point and work your way back. I also consider how long each stops maybe to minimize the cooling down period.

    You can get much more detail on these subjects and more on the above web sites. I have to emphasize safety first and don't inconvinience other drivers within the laws of the road.

    On the HWY I mostly drive in the right lane but knowing what the ideal speeds are try and drive at or below the speed limit.

    Good luck and realize depending on your driving conditions it will restrict how well you'll be able to maximize the potential of the Prius.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    re: "perhaps you can share with us your freeway speed, and around town speed"

    We have 3 diffferent HWY speeds:
    1. Country roads: 80KMH (50MPH) that I drive at 80 - 87 KMH (gain speed on any downhill portion especially of there is a hill following it).
    2. 90 KMH zones: drive 87 - 97 KMH with the same routine as in #1. These are 2-3 lane HWYs.
    3. 100 KMH HWY: drive 87 - 109 KMH with the same routine as #1. These are multi lane 3-8 lanes HWYs.

    In the city:
    Residential or school areas: 40KMH drive at 40 (not very common)
    residential 50KMH: drive 50 to 55
    60 KMH - drive at 57 - 65

    ==> for all: traffic allowing it - LOL ;)
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    re: "Every other Prius in the world gets 48-50mpg"

    like so: ???
    ---> scroll through some of this ... also: you'll be able to access lots of data :)
  • carbotcarbot Posts: 14
    You can baby your Prius, make every trip an ordeal, pi** off a lot of people and get a few mpg more, or you can drive it like a car and get around 48 mpg regularly. Personally, I don't want to be a slave to a car for a few mpg. I consider myself a veteran hybrid driver. I put over 37,000 miles on my '03 Prius in 10 months, and sold it to a friend when I got my '04. I now have 205,000 on my '04. I drive it like I do all my cars. I accelerate normally to speed, pop it into cruise and go. This applies even in town when traffic is light. When see a traffic light change, I take it out of cruise and slow down if there is no one riding my bumper. Many times I never have to stop before the light changes. This is one reason I still have the original brakes. This is my business car and I can not plan trips for maximum mileage, not that I would if I could. Yes, I do pump my tires to the max and can not tell the difference in ride or performance.
    I have taken defensive driving classes and even won a $500.00 safe driver award from the insurance company that insured the vehicles I drove while vanpooling. The bottom line in defensive driving is, always leave yourself an "out". No tailgating. This is safe and gives you some time to make decisions, be it for safety or gas savings.
    I consider the biggest gas hog on a car to be the brakes. Every time you use them you have to regain that speed, which is much less efficient than staying up to speed.
    I didn't mean for this to be so long, but I got "on a roll". Needless to say, I love my Prius. It is the best car I have owned in my 63 years, but remember, It is transportation. Don't let it drive you.
  • dpeacockdpeacock Posts: 1

    I am new to forums so be patience with me.
    I am a new Prius Owner from Manassas, VA.
    Our family "lucked out" and bought a 2004 in Dec 2007, 60K miles, for $18K ($16K + $2K, sales taxes, processing fee & extended warranty).


    I was impressed that you had 204,000 miles on your car. That was one of our big questions. What was the life expectancy if car is properly maintained. Your experience is welcome news.

    I wonder how long others have had their PRIUSs?

    Question: Last Question

    When Toyota changes to LI Ion batteries, will owners be able to replace hydride batteries with the LI Ion batteries? I hope so.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 109
    Hey Gabe,

    Please don't misunderstand me here, I'd do just about anything to get the mileage you claim you are getting. I have looked at the other posts on the other sites, and they show pictures of their 'mileage' based on the car read-out. I make the following assumptions:
    1) every car gets lower mileage (25-35 or so) in the 1st 5 minutes as the cat converter needs to warm up - or something like this.
    2) The pictures shown of 60+ mpg do not show the first 5 minutes of driving.. which make me question the numbers a bit. Sure, I can show 30 minutes of driving, averaging 75mpg if I choose the correct road (doing down hill most of the time) - but this would be misleading - so why do it?
    3) It's my belief, and I hope I am wrong, that 'normal driving', meaning accelerating slowly, going the speed limit - not over - and not to much under to cause a problem with traffic, will produce actual MPG in the 48-50 range.
    - I have not tried going 50mpg on the freeway for any period of time, but I'm sure this would help - however I also consider this a bit unsafe.
    4) Driving in city traffic will average out - sometimes better mileage, sometimes worse, but the average will be about 50mpg.

    I am going to check my tires again, and make sure they are at 40psi - I had increased pressure after reading some posts months back.

    I do believe you are an exception, not the rule (yes, there are others too that drive like you). However, GOOD FOR YOU! I'm happy to know the car will do this, if I choose to drive the correct routes, in the correct outside temperature, during the right time of day, driving the exact correct speed. This is not real practical for me - but to others perhaps it is.

    I do not believe some of us own 'better' gas mileage cars than others - we all have the same car and if the car is able to get >60, >70 MPG, it's worth noting. We all own a great car - I am very pleased with mine and would buy another one in a second.

    Thanks for your response.

  • jimrey28jimrey28 Posts: 9

    I think you have cleared things up for me now...I own a 2008 Prius for about 6 weeks now and I take care of my terminally ill Mother. This means I barely get to drive the car, I rarely drive it for 2 miles at a time so I only get so the screen reads 36 to 40 mpg. Yes I have begun changing my habit of driving but the mpg is no where what I thought it would be, I took too much for granted. My tires are inflated to 38/40 but I guess it's because I don't drive enough.

    I did take a trip from Chicago to Kansas City though, used cruise control and got up to 48mpg which made me happy. Now I have 1400 miles on the car drive around town and am back to the 36 to 40mpg.

    I also was lead to believe when I bought the car that below 48 mph the car ran on the battery so I am confused why miles are so low. The car dealer of course said it's better than standard cars, but whatever that's not their marketing ploy.

    At any rate so many in these forums are getting GREAT mileage, am I reading the wrong screen or is it because I typically drive so few miles.

    i know this is lenghty but can any tell I'm confused?

    Thanks for anyones comments!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Here in VA where they use 10% ethanol I generally lose 2 mpg off my lifetime average of 47.8 mpg, When I fill up in NC where they normally sell 100% gas then I get upwards of 50-52 mpg in Spring, Summer and Fall.

    I've never had a tank as low as 43 mpg in any kind of weather: 85% Hwy @ 62 mph on average and 15% suburban 'city' driving. I don't pay much attention to any special hypermiling techniques except to use my brain to let off the pedal as early as possible for the given conditions.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Hi Jim,

    One of the key limitations in fuel economy that very very few know is that short trips are death on fuel economy for all vehicles. This is clearly stated on the EPA site and most vehicle makers know it but it's rarely explained to the driving public. Why should it have been in past years? Fuel was cheaper than dirt. Now it isn't.

    As you can see from your own experience 5 min trips are horrible on FE. All vehicles will lose about 20+% from their 'nominal averages'. This is one reason why CR gets so low ratings when they do their own FE tests.

    As to your question about the battery only driving, the actual number is 41 mph. There are long technical discussions on this subject over at Essentially the 'sweet spot' for the HSD vehicles is about 35 mph; i.e. just about normal for city driving. However..... BIG HOWEVER.... you must have a well charged battery in order to gain the most benefit from this. If you come out in the morning and jump in and drive 5 min that's not enough time to charge up the battery. It takes about 8-12 min of continuous driving. After that when you are in the 35 mph range the battery/e-motor can power the vehicle pretty far and pretty often.

    Also another very common misconception is that 'stop and go' traffic is good for HSD vehicles. Actually stop-and-go driving is bad for all vehicles. The laws of physics ( Newton ) cannot be overwritten; An object at rest...... It takes a lot of energy inputs to get a 3000# vehicle up and rolling even at low city speeds. Try to avoid stopping if at all possible while being safe. Try the UPS solution.
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